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A Weekend Guide to Perspectives, Georgia’s Premier Pottery Event

 

Georgia’s largest pottery showcase and sale is on the horizon! PERSPECTIVES: Georgia Pottery Invitational is a Southeast Tourism Society Top 20 Event hosted by the Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation (OCAF). The 20-day event in Watkinsville features pottery exhibits, demonstrations and studio tours. From Aug. 25 to Sept. 13, 2017,artists and art lovers will experience a showcase of 6,000 handmade, functional pieces by 50 Georgia potters. Here’s a weekend guide to Georgia’s premier pottery event of the year.

Where to Stay

Ashford Manor Bed & Breakfast located in the heart of Downtown Watkinsville. Photo provided by Matt Brewster.

Just a short walk from OCAF is the Ashford Manor Bed & Breakfast. Listed as one of the top inns to stay in Georgia, the bed and breakfast provides an inviting and relaxing environment with a pool and beautiful garden. The Victorian-style manor also features themed rooms raved about by national and international guests.

For a traditional lodging experience, the award-winning Springhill Suites by Marriott Athens is located just a few short miles from OCAF with on-site and off-site gym and pool access. Book your room soon; the popular hotel fills fast!

What to Do

One of three exhibits at Perspectives: Georgia Pottery Invitational.

Friday

On Friday, arrive at your hotel to view the three-part pottery exhibit and purchase one-of-a-kind pieces. Items will include mugs, cooking dishes, tea pots, large pots and much more. The Opening Gala will take place on Aug. 25 at Rocket Hall. Enjoy refreshments and live jazz music performed by local band Period Six. The opening reception is an exclusive opportunity to view and purchase pottery before the exhibits are open to the public.

Saturday

After a full breakfast complimentary of your stay, head over to the Rocket Hall Courtyard, where potters will perform pottery demonstrations focused on wheel throwing and hand building techniques. Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 26-27, renowned artist Naoki Izumi will lead a workshop on the methods and secrets of Echizen pottery, one of the Six Ancient Kilns of Japan.

Dining at Chops & Hops in Downtown Watkinsville.

In your free time, enjoy shopping in Historic Downtown Watkinsville with unique shops that feature art galleries, clothes and accessories, home and garden décor, antiques and more. You can also explore popular lunch options in the area like unique burgers at The Traveling Hobo Café, ribs at JB’s Smokin’ Barbeque and a classic BBQ sandwich at Hot Thomas BBQ. End the night with dinner at Chops & Hops, an unforgettable fine dining experience. For more dining options, visit visitoconee.com/dining.

Sunday

Wake up to Sunday brunch at Girasoles with Mexican-Mediterranean fused dishes crafted by Chef Zambrano. On Sept. 3 and Sept. 10, well-known Georgia potter Michael Pitts will host Gallery Talks with discussions on pottery styles, clays, glazes and firing techniques.

The Elder Mill Covered Bridge built in 1897.

Finally, a serene view and a classic photo at the Elder Mill Covered Bridge is the perfect way to end your trip before traveling home.

For more information on Perspectives, visit visitoconee.com/perspectives.

This post was first published on blog.exploregeorgia.org.

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3 places to grab souvenirs in Watkinsville

Whether you’re a domestic or international visitor, journeying to the small towns of Georgia and the South makes for authentic experiences you can’t find anywhere else in the world. In Oconee County, you won’t find souvenir shops filled with “I ♥ [insert city]” keepsakes at every corner as you would in the busy streets of Atlanta, New York City, or Los Angeles. Instead, you will travel scenic roads and explore historic downtowns to find unique gems to remind you of the one-of-a-kind experiences you had in rural Georgia. Here are three places to grab souvenirs in Watkinsville.

 

Happy Valley Pottery

Enjoy 15 minutes of scenic beauty from Downtown Watkinsville to purchase handmade art at Happy Valley Pottery. Local artists and owners of Chappelle Gallery and Happy Valley Pottery transformed an old chicken house into artists’ studios, where you can watch artists in their element creating glass art and pottery. After witnessing the creation of these local artists, you can purchase their art pieces used for both décor and functional purposes.

 

Empire South

 

Photo by Emily Faz. Model: Braden Bruce

 

Dress like the locals and show your love for Georgia with Peach State Pride shirts. The brand celebrates Georgia’s history and culture, and is headquartered right here in Watkinsville. You can find the shirts and other Southern-made items at Empire South located in Town Center in Downtown Watkinsville.

 

Oconee County Welcome Center

 

Share your travels with family and friends or remember your journey with postcards featuring historic sites like the Elder Mill Covered Bridge, the Eagle Tavern Museum, and the Ashford Manor Bed & Breakfast. Visit these sites and stop by the Oconee County Welcome Center located on Main Street to collect postcards to add to your postcard travel boards or journals highlighting your most memorable travel experiences in Oconee County, Georgia.

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Watkinsville’s 12 Days of Christmas: Holiday Happenings

‘Tis the season for holiday lights, shopping and events! Get in the spirit in Watkinsville and celebrate the holiday season with events, sales, and holiday displays.

 

EVENTS

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Watkinsville’s annual Holiday Tree Lighting is a prime event for the season. On the first Friday in December, spectators gather along Main Street for holiday carols, hot chocolate, cookies, and the lighting of the holiday tree in Downtown Watkinsville.

The next day, December 3, the city and the Oconee Enterprise will host its annual Watkinsville Christmas Parade at 11 a.m. The parade travels throughout Downtown Watkinsville and features extravagant floats, bands, and local organizations.

Next up is Mingle with Kringle, a popular Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation (OCAF) tradition for children. The event will take place on December 10, and includes storytelling, photos with Kringle, arts and crafts, and a puppet show. This year’s event will also feature a theatrical performance by Doug Berkey.

What’s December without a holiday musical? Brightstone Productions will present Christmas at the Five and Dime at the Oconee County Civic Center December 15-18. The performance is set in the 1940s in a large department store.

 

DISPLAYS

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In addition to the the many events in town are also holiday displays. The rare and historic Elder Mill Covered Bridge, which sits above Rose Creek, will be decorated in colorful holiday lights throughout the season.

Also, the Eagle Tavern Museum, once a stagecoach stop, will be decorated in period-themed holiday décor and live greenery as visitors explore the life of travelers in the 1800s. The Eagle Tavern Museum will have a special opening after the Christmas Parade and a Holiday Open House in December.

The Oconee County Welcome Center is also a popular stop during the holidays with a grand window display of a Dickens Village.

 

SHOPPING

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Photo courtesy of Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation (OCAF).

Happy Valley Pottery will host its Holiday Open House & Sale November 25-27 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The holiday open house and sale will include art demonstrations in raku and glassblowing, and will feature pottery, paintings, jewelry, candles, and bath products for sale.

At the OCAF Holiday Market, shop for more unique gifts for friends and family. The three-day event will showcase and sell paintings, jewelry, sculptures, folk art, photography, clay, food, soaps, and more! The market will also feature OCAF’s Artists’ Shoppe, which will be available from December 2 – 23. The Artist Shoppe sells the handcrafted work of OCAF members.

Take on these events and more with a stay at the Ashford Manor Bed & Breakfast, a Victorian-style manor built in the 1930s. For more on holiday shopping and happenings in Watkinsville, follow Watkinsville’s 12 Days of Christmas holiday series on Facebook.

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Top 5 for a UGA Game Day Weekend

The UGA Bulldogs kicked off the 2016 football season with a win over the University of North Carolina on Saturday. Now with the Dawgs’ first home game of the season approaching, the excitement for Game Day between the hedges is near. In between cheering on the Dawgs and tailgating in Athens, find time to unwind in Watkinsville-Oconee County with our Top 5 List Georgia Fans must experience:

 

1. Dinner at Chops & Hops: A hometown favorite, the locally-owned fine dining establishment has been occupied by Georgia Dawgs quite often. Experience the great food and nice atmosphere that UGA students and athletes travel just 8 short miles for.

2. Downtown Shopping: Pick out your game day outfit at Orchard Street Boutique and Empire South, or find unique treasures for your home at Attic Treasures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Antique Shopping: If Attic Treasures inspires you, drive down to Bishop where you can find a cluster of antique stores all within one mile of each other along Highway 441.

4. Elder Mill Covered Bridge: If you’re traveling south, stop by this rare Georgia beauty. The bridge is one of only 13 functioning covered bridges in the state. Click here for a guide to visiting the 1890s bridge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Washington Farms: The popular farm won’t open for the fall season until late September, but it’s the perfect way to enjoy a Georgia fall weekend. The farm will feature a corn maze, petting zoo, pumpkin patch, and much more.